Best places to stay in Porto

written by
Amanda Tomlin

updated 17.04.2024

Wondering where to stay in Porto? Not only is the city home to number 3 in our list of 9 of the best pousadas in Portugal, it has some of the country's finest hotels.

Portugal was a new addition to the most beautiful countries in the world and its atmospheric second city, which sits on the Rio Douro, is well worth a few days or more to explore Vila Nova de Gaia wine lodges and wander the narrow streets and alleys.

Porto's centre is all about broad squares, neoclassical buildings and Baroque churches, but not all about history. You'll find hip cafés and restaurants and a thriving art scene. Much of the city has been restored so you can take your pick of good hotels in Porto.

But if you're wondering Porto versus Lisbon: which city to see first? Take a look at the best area to stay in Lisbon guide too.

Sé and Aliados - stay close to Porto city centre

Porto’s oldest streets lie below the Sé cathedral in the Sé district which is home to the Paço Episcopal. Igreja de Santa Clara and Igreja de Santo Ildefonso. It's also the area for São Bento station and if you want an eyeful of grand civic buildings, Aliados is the place for those.

    Where to stay near the Sé and Aliados:

  • For vintage stays: Pão de Açúcar Hotel is a 1930s survivor, expect glossy parquet floors and plenty of space. Book a room at the top for a private terrace overlooking the town hall.
  • For budget stays: Rivoli Cinema Hostel fills a bright and airy townhouse with film-themed four-bed dorms and double rooms. It's funky and sociable and comes with a roof terrace.
  • For luxury stays: Infante Sagres Historic Hotel houses a five-star contemporary design hotel in a heritage building. It has an open-air patio, good restaurant and an Asian-style spa.

Find more attractive options to stay in Sé and Aliados

Building with azulejos tiles is Igreja dos Congregados. Building on the right is Sao Bento Station. Location: Praca de Almeida Garrett, Porto, Portugal © AdobeStock

Sao Bento Station, Porto, Portugal © AdobeStock

Ribeira is where to stay in Porto for heritage

Ribeira is Porto's medieval heart where tall, colourful houses tumble down to the Douro and everything is designated a World Heritage site. Exploring is one of the best things to do in Portugal and the district has enormous appeal from its restaurants lining the riverbank to winding backstreets concealing historic buildings.

If you're looking for iconic photo opps head to double-decker Ponte Dom Luís I. The lower level is reserved for traffic, the Metro runs 60m above the River Douro on the upper level and pedestrians can walk either level to Vila Nova de Gaia.

  • For riverfront stays: The 1872 River House offers quaintly designed rooms with views, monsoon showers and chandeliers, on the River Douro in the heart of Ribeira.
  • For good value stays: InPatio Guest House is a bargain for the location and sense of style. It sits close to Porto Cathedral in the oldest part of the Ribeira district.
  • For boutique stays: Pestana Vintage Porto is the four-star hotel on Porto's medieval walls. Its restaurant sits on a raised terrace above the river lit in the evening by the wall's candles.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Ribeira

Porto, Portugal, Riberia old town cityscape and the Douro River with traditional Rabelo boats © Michal Ludwiczak/Shutterstock

Ribeira is where to stay in Porto for medieval heritage © Michal Ludwiczak/Shutterstock

Baixa - best area to stay in Porto for sighsteeeing

Porto's lively Baixa (downtown) district is where you'll find many of the city's most famous sights. You can't miss the magnificent tiled facade of Baroque Igreja do Carmo, Torre dos Clérigos and Porto University are here too.

Baixa is also the district for legendary Livraria Lello. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds at this now world famous bookshop, and if you want more useful advice take a look at our 20 essential Portugal travel tips for year round trips.

  • For relaxed stays: PortoBay Flores sits on Rua das Flores in the heart of Baixa. It features a hammam and indoor swimming pool with views over Porto's downtown district.
  • For boutique stays: Cale Guest House has a good central location and offers beautifully designed rooms with large windows and balconies overlooking incredible city views.
  • For smart stays: YOTEL Porto features sleek rooms with intuitive lighting, great views, services supplied by robots and guests control their stay via the YOTEL app.
Traditional historic facade in Porto decorated with blue tiles azulejos of Carmo Church (Igreja do Carmo) with azulejos in Porto, Portugal © leonori/Shutterstock

Igreja do Carmo with traditional tiled façade, Baixa, Porto © leonori/Shutterstock

Vila Nova de Gaia, the birthplace of Port

Vila Nova de Gaia is Port's birthplace and where Porto's first wine lodges were established in the 12th century. Today the district still dominates the riverfront and if you want an overview take a cable car ride across the Douro.

Tours of the smaller lodges tend to be more personal, but they're all informative without exception so expect to know your Tawny from Ruby by the end of any one of them. Plus the lodges are lovely and another reason why Porto is one of the most beautiful places in Portugal to visit.

The riverfront faces Ribeira and its long docks lined with cafés and restaurants. Cruise boats moor on the esplanade and historic Barcos Rabelos still ply their trade on the water, transporting wine casks downriver from Douro estates as they've done for centuries.

    Where to stay in Vila Nova de Gaia:

  • For luxury stays: The Yeatman is the finest hotel in Porto, famous for spectacular city views it also features one of the best restaurants in Portugal right now.
  • For stylish stays: Charm by Yours Porto is just a few minutes walk from Vila Nova de Gaia lodges. Expect fresh, contemporary design and book a room with a balcony for river views.
  • For good value stays: ClipHotel is a good three-star hotel close to wine lodges and cable cars. Rooms are fresh, modern and minimalist, but comfortable.
Porto Ribeira, traditional facades, old multi-colored houses with red roof tiles on the embankment in the city of Porto, Portugal

Cable Cars across the River Douro, Porto, Portugal © Daliu/Shutterstock

Masserelos, Porto's creative quarter

Masserelos is Porto's artistic district and home to Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis. Rua Miguel Bombarda is right at the heart of the area and if you want to see the city's creativity up close, this is where to browse excellent independent art galleries and visit craft workshops and ateliers.

    Where to stay in Masserelos:

  • For artsy stays: Family run Gallery Hostel is set in a 1906 townhouse and offers dorms and double rooms. It also features a pretty courtyard garden and often hosts local art exhibitions.
  • For budget stays: Grande Hotel do Porto is the city's oldest hotel and very traditionally designed. Good location and well priced for a three-star in the city centre.
  • For boutique stays: Rosa et al Townhouse offers elegant suits in a townhouse near Soares dos Reis museum. All rooms have hardwood floors and bathrooms feature freestanding baths.
Parish Church of Massarelos in Porto © odecam/Shutterstock

Parish Church of Massarelos in Porto © odecam/Shutterstock

Foz do Douro, Port by the seaside

Take a city tram to Foz do Douro, with its attractive old town and sandy beach, it makes a great day trip or indeed a good seaside base for exploring Porto.

Although you wont find it on our 10 best beaches in Portugal list, Matosinhos Beach is fun and where locals go for seafood and clubbing and you'll find even more beaches an easy walk away at Leça da Palmeira.

  • For seaside stays: Flattered to be in Porto is a traditional seaside house offering light, airy apartments in a great location close to beaches and the Foz do Douro old town.
  • For budget stays: Hotel Boa-Vista features ocean and river view rooms which are basic but comfortable, the hotel also has a good rooftop pool, sun terraces, restaurant and bar.
  • For accessible stays: Hotel da Música sits in Bom Sucesso Market and offers several rooms with mobility access. There’s also a hotel restaurant attached to the marketplace too.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Foz do Douro

Lighthouse in Foz do Douro © AdobeStock

Lighthouse in Foz do Douro © AdobeStock

Cedofeita - best area to stay in Porto for couples

Cedofeita is a favourite neighbourhood for many city dwellers. It combines traditional architecture with a more youthful vibe. New cafés and restaurants are opening, expanding the list of places to go in the evening and filling the streets of the area with life. The easy-going atmosphere of the area makes it perfect to stay in Porto for couples.

  • For luxury stays: Canto De Luz - set in Porto, less than 1 km from Sao Bento Metro Station and a 10-minute walk from Sao Bento Train Station, Canto De Luz - Luxury Maison offers accommodation with free WiFi, air conditioning, a bar and a shared lounge.
  • For good value stays: Capim Dourado Apartments Cedofeita located 750 m from the iconic Torre dos Clérigos. They all offer free WiFi access and kitchen facilities. The central location of Cedofeita allows guests to enjoy sightseeing, dining and shopping with ease. The lively area of Galerias Paris is around 650 metres, as well as Lello bookshop, considered one of the most beautiful in the world.
  • For boutique stays: MyStay Porto Centro situated in the União de Freguesias do Centro district in Porto, 500 m from Paris Galleries Street, MyStay Porto Centro boasts air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Cedofeita

Casa da Música in Cedofeita, Porto © AdobeStock

Casa da Música in Cedofeita, Porto © AdobeStock

Bonfim - where to stay in Porto for affordable accommodation

The Bonfim area is situated in the east of Porto. The main attractions in the area are Church of The Lord of Bonfim - one of the most beautiful and majestic churches of the city of Porto, and Cemitério Prado do Repouso.

    Where to stay in Bonfim:

  • For stylish stays: Oportolazaro Apartment offers accommodation in Porto's historica centre. The city's famed commercial avenue, Santa Catarina Street is just 550 m away, while central Aliados Avenue is at 1 km.
  • For friendly stays: PortoShelter features a terrace and a washing machine. The air-conditioned accommodation is 1.8 km from Ageas Porto Coliseum, and guests benefit from complimentary WiFi and private parking available on site. This apartment is fitted with 3 bedrooms, a kitchen
  • For peaceful stays: B. Arts features accommodation in studios and lofts located in Porto, just 1 km from central Aliados Avenue. The units are set in a renovated 19th century building and have city views, just 150 m from the Porto Library, São Lázaro Garden and 500 m from Coliseu do Porto.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Bonfim

Église de Bonfim à Porto © AdobeStock

Église de Bonfim à Porto © AdobeStock

If you prefer to plan and book your trip to Porto without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.

Ready for a trip to Porto in Portugal? Check out the snapshot Pocket Rough Guide Porto or Pocket Rough Guide Lisbon. If you travel further in Portugal, read more about the best time to go, the best places to visit and best things to do in Portugal. For inspiration use the itineraries from The Rough Guide to Portugal and our local travel experts. A bit more hands on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay once you are there.

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this does not influence our editorial standards - we only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Amanda Tomlin

written by
Amanda Tomlin

updated 17.04.2024

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